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Opening Arguments


Sure-fire argument starter -- "The five most overrated presidents," who are: Abraham Lincoln, Frandklin D. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and (in a tie) Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama. Check out this paragraph on Lincoln:

Lincoln was called a dictator and a tyrant by many Northerners for his blatant abuse of the Constitution. Among his detractors were former president Franklin Pierce, famous American authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, abolitionist Lysander Spooner and a host of newspapermen and congressmen who viewed his unconstitutional acts — suspending habeas corpus, blockading Southern ports, sending soldiers into battle without a declaration of war — with disdain. And, as African-American historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. has shown, Lincoln was hardly the savior of black America.

Note that all six of these men come from the activist, make-government-grow pool of chief executives, which is why they're so highly rated, and also why those ratings might not be appreciated by everybody.

Posted in: History


Thu, 11/15/2012 - 11:39am

Such a list is hardly a surprise from the Daily Caller. I'd start my list with Ronald Reagan, whom modern Republicans would put on Mount Rushmore. Reagan, as best as I can recall, accomplished nothing. His tax cuts and military spending gave us a giant deficit and a recession, and a less beloved president would have been impeached for Iran-Contra.

As for Obama being on the Caller's list, surely we should agree that the current president should not be considered on any list of bests or worsts. Let's at least wait a while to get some historical perspective.

Lest you think I am being purely partisan, I would also include John F. Kennedy among the "most overrated." He kept us out of a third world war, but just barely. He was literally getting by on good looks and charm.

Harl Delos
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 2:19pm

Reagan was loved by the right and demonized by the left, and I think both opinions are unrealistic.  His first term was a lot different than his second one.  I think his failing health resulted in corrupt or inompetent subordinates running wild.

Most of the lists of best/worst presidents put James Buchanon as the worst.  I think that's unfair, since he kept a delicate balance between north and south. Once Lincoln was elected, the south seceded, which arguably it was their right to do, if government is to be by consent of the governed. Lincoln, however, started a terribly tragic war over it, and we are still arguing over states' rights.